Congress, the main Opposition party in the BJP-ruled state, had faced rout in Chhattisgarh in the last two Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Mahant represents Korba constituency in the Lok Sabha.
He is the only Lok Sabha MP of the Congress from the tribal- dominated state, where BJP swept the Parliamentary polls in 2009. A native of Janjgir-Champa district, Mahant is the son of senior Congress leader, late B D Mahant.
Mahant, who was in the government service, was initiated into politics by late Congress leader Arjun Singh. He won three terms in the Assembly in the undivided Madhya Pradesh. The 57-year-old was also a Minister in the Digvijay Singh-led Government. Mahant was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998. PTI SNG RSY